We love to laugh at people outside of Australia under the mistaken belief that we ride kangaroos to work or keep them around as pets. But it does raise an interesting question: could you keep a kangaroo as a pet? Turns out you can... if you live in one particular state.
Which state? You might guess the Northern Territory, or Queensland perhaps. But it's neither of those. The only state you can legally own a kangaroo is Victoria, and even then, it can't be wild and you need a licence.
In NSW, the only native mammals you can keep are the plains rat and spinifex hopping-mouse. Again, it requires some paperwork, specifically a "biodiversity conservation licence". For those living in Queensland and Western Australia, it's only certain species of native birds and reptiles. Surprise, surprise, ownership of them demands a permit.
They're a protected species in the Northern Territory. The government also makes the following recommendation:
Kangaroos and wallabies do not make good pets and you should never keep one.
Tasmania classifies them as "partly protected", as you can obtained a licence to hunt — but not own — kangaroos. Under South Australia's National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, all three of the state's main kangaroo populations are protected — red, western grey and euro.
Finally, the ACT's large eastern grey population is protected, so don't go chasing one down for a pet.
Even if you're in Victoria and want a pet kangaroo, it's probably not a good idea. Why not get a cat instead?
A video of a man punching a kangaroo has gone viral. To be fair, the bloke was trying to save his dog, but considering the RSPCA is investigating the matter, we can only assume people raised concerns about animal cruelty. Which begs the question: is it legal to punch a kangaroo, even if it's in self-defence? Read on to find out.